Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AT GIBRALTAR, by GEORGE EDWARD WOODBERRY



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AT GIBRALTAR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: England, I stand on thy imperial ground
Last Line: Peace to the world, from ports without a gun!
Subject(s): Gibraltar; Great Britain - Commonwealth & Colonies; Peace; British Empire; England - Empire


I.
ENGLAND, I stand on thy imperial ground
Not all a stranger; as thy bugles blow,
I feel within my blood old battles flow, --
The blood whose ancient founts are in thee found
Still surging dark against the Christian bound
While Islam presses; well its peoples know
Thy heights that watch them wandering below:
I think how Lucknow heard their gathering
sound.

I turn and meet the cruel, turbaned face.
England! 't is sweet to be so much thy son!
I feel the conqueror in my blood and race;
Last night Trafalgar awed me, and to-day
Gibraltar wakened; hark, thy evening gun
Startles the desert over Africa.

II.
Thou art the rock of empire set mid-seas
Between the East and West, that God has built;
Advance thy Roman borders where thou wilt,
While run thy armies true with his decrees;
Law, justice, liberty, -- great gifts are these.
Watch that they spread where English blood is
split,
Lest, mixed and sullied with his country's
guilt
The soldier's life-stream flow, and Heaven dis-
please!

Two swords there are: one naked, apt to smite,
Thy blade of war; and, battle-storied, one
Rejoices in the sheath, and hides from light.
American I am; would wars were done!
Now westward, look, my country bids good
night, --
Peace to the world, from ports without a gun!




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